The major power dominating the mid-west of the southern continent: Carpa Kingdom.
That morning, Queen Aura woke up in the inner palace’s bedroom as usual, and unconsciously groped around next to her with her right hand.
Seemingly still half asleep, the queen blearily opens her eyes and shifts her attention to the small spare bed that had been brought into the bedroom recently. At last she recalls her current situation.
“Ah, I see. Right, Zenjirou is in the Twin Kingdom, isn’t he?” (Aura)
Muttering to herself, the queen sits up on the bed.
Usually her husband sleeps next to her.
Over her pregnancy, her beloved husband has been sleeping in a spare bed, just to make sure that nothing happens.
That husband is currently in the distant Twin Kingdom of Sharrow and Jilbell, a country in the middle of the middle of the southern continent.
“Before I realized, I got so used to it that I feel uncomfortable sleeping alone, huh…?” (Aura)
The queen unintentionally smiles bitterly while getting up from the bed.
But, as matter of fact, those words weren’t entirely true.
Lately Zenjirou has been busily bustling about in the southern city Valentia, the March of Guzzle, and this time, the Twin Kingdom.
Especially when he went to the March of Guzzle, he was absent from the royal capital for around a month, but back then she didn’t unconsciously desire her husband like now.
Even though it’s her second time, she’s in the middle of a pregnancy, and where Zenjirou had gone this time is a foreign country where her own authority cannot reach. Even a brave woman like Aura will feel a little anxiety, at least unconsciously. In any case, the queen gets out of bed in her thin night-wear, picks up a silver bell and rings it.
“Yes, excuse us.”
Several maids, who enter immediately as if they had been waiting just outside, quickly take off Aura’s night-wear and prepare a comfy dress for her.
“Your Majesty, how about I open the window?”
A young maid standing next to the window inquires. The queen, still naked after her night-wear had been taken off by her maids, thinks it over, and then shakes her head.
“The air isn’t too bad yet. Let’s not open it for now. I don’t want the cold air to escape. Instead, turn on the light.” (Aura)
Right now they are at the height of the hottest season. The sultry nights, where the temperature doesn’t fall below 35° C even in the dead of night, continue.
Except for this room, which has an air conditioner, the temperature everywhere has well exceeded body temperature. Opening the wooden window means letting the cold air from the air-conditioner escape, or letting the hot outside air into the room.
The room immediately brightens once the young maid deftly switches on the LED lamp.
Keeping the window closed and depending on artificial light isn’t an overly healthy lifestyle, but given the hot wind of the hottest season, this way is much more preferable to allowing the open air into the room. Queen Aura, after being changed into a loose maternity dress by the maids, tells Head Maid Amanda,
“I will take my meals here for the time being. Have it brought to this room.” (Aura)
“Understood, as you wish.” (Amanda)
The middle-aged Head Maid calmly acknowledges the queen’s words.
Meals are an opportunity for informal diplomacy for royalty. Hence, it’s normally taken in the royal palace. Even when eating in the inner palace, it’s typical for the meal to be held in the dining hall, but currently Aura is prioritizing the health of her mind and body.
No matter how accustomed they might be to it, the heat of the hottest season is hard on the local people, too.
In the case of a pregnant woman, it’s better for her to avoid it if possible.
“I will go check on Carlos before breakfast.” (Aura)
All maids bow their heads before the queen.
“As you wish. We shall accompany you.”
As if guarding the queen as she starts to walk, the young maids flank the queen’s left and right sides.
Usually the maids follow behind, but now they walk next to the queen in case of any potential danger, paying attention so that the pregnant queen doesn’t fall down.
Being able to calmly deal with such constant and close protection that Zenjirou would definitely refuse with the reason that “it’s suffocating,” is probably owed to her being born royalty.
Leaving her air-conditioned bedroom and passing through the living room and a corridor, Aura reached the bedroom where Carpa Kingdom’s First Prince Carlos Zenkichi sleeps.
Entering the door a maid opened, a comfortably cool room welcomed them.
Of course it’s not as cool as Aura and Zenjirou’s bedroom with its running air-conditioner, but since a fan continuously blows over ice from the refrigerator, the room’s temperature is certainly below 30° C.
Compared to the outside temperature, which has already started to surpass the temperature of a human by now, this place could pretty much be called heaven.
“I’m coming in.” (Aura)
“Oh, Your Majesty. His Highness Carlos is still sleeping.”
Prince Carlos’ wet nurse, Cassandra, stands from her chair and quietly informs the queen as she entered the room.
The queen nods lightly and approaches the small bed with the sleeping child without a sound.
The queen’s expression naturally softens upon seeing the sleeping face of her healthy child.
“He’s sleeping so peacefully, isn’t he?” (Aura)
Confirming the queen’s words, the wet nurse doesn’t forget to relay more concerning matters at the same time.
“However, in this season, this is the only room where His Highness can pass his time comfortably. Recently I’ve been leaving the room with him sometimes , careful to make sure it doesn’t affect his health, but everytime I do he begins to cry as soon as we leave the room.” (Cassandra)
The queen looks up at the ceiling and sighs upon hearing the wet nurse’s report.
“Yeah, I really understand his feelings, but that’s not good. It’s fine to go slowly, but his body has to get accustomed to this country’s climate.” (Aura)
“As you wish, Your Majesty.” (Cassandra)
Prince Carlos, the child of Queen Aura and Prince Consort Zenjirou, was naturally born after Zenjirou brought his electrical appliances to the inner palace.
For that reason Prince Carlos hasn’t experienced the hottest season without relying on the benefits of cold air from blocks of ice and fans.
Well, currently Prince Carlos is one year and one month old. Since he is no more than two years old even with the old way of counting someone’s age where one adds another year at New Year’s, it’s a rather hasty worry, but considering the future, it’s doubtlessly a problem that should be dealt with early on.
According to the rules, the inner palace is closed to men apart from its master, Zenjirou. His son, the prince, will be no exception to that. Only children below the age of seven, according to the traditional method of counting, can remain as they are not treated as men yet. In other words, Prince Carlos has to leave this inner palace in another five years, no matter what might happen. If he gets used to the inner palace with all its electrical appliances, it’s obvious that he will have a hard time later in his life.
“Rather, after consulting with Doctor Michelle, it might be better to reduce the ice supply so long as it doesn’t affect his health. At this rate Carlos will become a child unable to survive anywhere but the inner palace.” (Aura)
If all goes well, Carlos will be the king after Aura. That’s not a position where he will be allowed a weakness like “confining himself in the inner palace because of the hottest season’s heat.”
If they don’t get him accustomed to a life without the benefits of electrical appliances before he reaches the age of discretion, it will be Carlos himself who will have trouble in the future.
“If this child is a girl, we should worry about the opposite, though.” (Aura)
Muttering that, the queen strokes her belly, which finally started to visibly swell, with her right hand, still looking at her soundly sleeping eldest son.
A man leaves the inner palace at the age of seven, but a woman lives in the inner palace until her marriage.
If the child in her belly is a girl, Aura wants to raise her as someone who inherits the expertise of handling the electrical appliances.
Leaving aside everyday appliances like the air-conditioner, the refrigerator or the television, the personal computer that runs the spreadsheet program should be definitely passed on to the next generation as a『Weapon of the Royal Family』.
Royalty being able to check the tax revenue of all the territories within a short time and without needing the help of others will be an extremely powerful tool to apply pressure on the regional lords.
For that reason I want to leave behind a matrilinear branch of the royal family that has learned how to operate the electrical appliances centered around the personal computer, and are experts in maintaining the electrical appliances by mastering 『Time Reversal』, Queen Aura plans.
“I’m sure my husband won’t be happy about this, but I will get him to understand.” (Aura)
Zenjirou’s values reject the idea of being bound to the inner palace from birth, but he will also be able to logically understand that Aura’s view is correct.
If they plan to allow the humans of this world to learn the spreadsheet program that’s basically full of Arabic numerals, English and Japanese, Zenjirou won’t have any choice but to invest a lot of time personally teaching them from a tender age. The only one capable of learning will therefore be Zenjirou’s daughter, who can stay in the inner palace even past the age of seven.
“Well, it’s no use letting my imaginations run wild before the birth, I guess. After all it’s not certain that this child will be a girl.” (Aura)
The queen exhales deeply.
But, if she were allowed any wish in the world, Aura would want her second child to be a girl, if possible.
If she delivers when expected, Prince Carlos and the second child will only be two years apart.
Because increasing the number of royals takes the highest priority right now, she has again chosen pregnancy and childbirth, but the existence of brothers who are close in age and of the same mother and father, will doubtlessly turn into a worrying factor in the future.
“I guess I can only pray that it will be a girl, in two meanings.” (Aura)
Even regarding her beloved child’s birth, she cannot escape her political thinking.
“Good grief, the thing called social status even manages to interfere in my love for my own children…”
As if to expel her gloomy emotions, the queen took a deep breath.
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